Drivers in India could potentially be driving around in vehicles powered by whisky. Utilising whiskey waste, this is an attempt to reduce toxic pollution in the River Ganges.

A Scottish biofuel company will use a process that converts residues from whisky production into a sustainable new fuel. This is called biobutanol.

The sustainable process

At the distillery, about 10 percent of what is created is turned into whisky. The remainder of the whisky distillation is pot ale and spent grain (draff).

Every year, 1600 million litres of pot ale and 500,000 tonnes of draff are produced by the Scottish whisky industry.

Celtic Renewables have found a way to convert this residue into biobutanol, which can replace other traditional fuels such as petrol and diesel to power cars. Switching to these new fuels can help cut oil consumption and carbon dioxide emissions while simultaneously providing a new secure energy supply.

A game-changer

Martin Tangney, the founder and president of Celtic Renewables Professor, said:

“The technology developed by Celtic Renewables is a game-changer for the Indian brewing and distilling industry, which has been widely criticised for dumping residue from the distilling process into the Ganges – a source of drinking water for over 400 million people.

“The Indian government has committed several billion pounds to pollution-reduction and river-rejuvenation through its dedicated arm, the National Mission for Clean Ganga, and I am proud our company will be part of the solution.”

Celtic Renewables have been backed through Scottish Development International (SDI) and the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation initiative.

Cherise Mascarenhas, the head of Scottish Development International in India, said the deal will see the environment benefit from producing whisky and clean water. It will also Celtic Renewables achieve global growth.

What are your thoughts?

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